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Candice Tylke

Estate Gift From Alumna Strengthens Fire Science Program

Candice Tylke

Candice Tylke

Candice Tylke '94, was raised in West Allis, Wis., and graduated from West Milwaukee High School in 1984. She was the first female firefighter graduate from Madison Area Technical College. She was a veteran firefighter and paramedic for the city of Beloit and had experience as a flight paramedic. She was a longtime member of the International Association of Fire Fighters and the International Association of Flight Paramedics. Candice passed away July 26, 2008, at the age of 42.

Candice was a motivated and dedicated professional. She served as a role model during her brief life. She spoke highly of her time at UW Oshkosh, so it is fitting that her legacy lives on at her alma mater. Through a gift to UW Oshkosh from her estate, the Candice Tylke Scholarship is helping open doors for women pursuing fire science careers by funding scholarships and a summer camp for young women interested in learning more about the profession.

The Candice E. Tylke Scholarship is awarded annually to students in the Fire and Emergency Response Management (FERM) program at UW Oshkosh. First priority is given to female applicants. The two-year program, which incorporates online and classroom instruction, provides fire and emergency personnel with the leadership and administrative skills necessary to advance their careers and lead public health and safety organizations. Participants must have completed an associate degree in fire protection, fire science, paramedic technician or emergency management.

UW Oshkosh is the only university in Wisconsin to offer this bachelor's degree program. The first six FERM graduates received their degrees in the December 2008 commencement ceremony.

Candice's estate gift also supported the creation and operation of GO! (Gals Only) Fire Science Camp.

UW Oshkosh has offered coed summer camps since 2004 for young people, ages 15-20, who are interested in fire science. The camps are held on the UW Oshkosh campus with off-campus field experiences, and provide an opportunity to explore careers in fire and emergency response services.

Female firefighters and paramedics from around the state lead the camp and speak about the challenges of being a female in a predominantly male profession. Candice's gift helps minimize participant costs and assists with outreach and promotional costs involved in the program.

To learn how you can make a lasting difference at UW Oshkosh, click here.

A Classmate, an Inspiration
The first recipient of the Candice E. Tylke Scholarship in 2009 was Melissa Spielman, a former classmate of Candice's in Madison Area Technical College's fire science program.

At the time of the award, Melissa was a student at UW Oshkosh and a firefighter/paramedic with the Green Bay Fire Department. Melissa graduated from UW Oshkosh in 2011.

"She was an inspiration," said Melissa of Candice. "I am thankful to her for showing me the courage and determination that it takes to do this job."

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